View Full Version : The Mt Washington Run

10 September 2012, 0258
I was kind of keeping quiet on this, mostly so I could back out if I couldn't pull off the preparations, but here goes. Next weekend I'm going to try climbing Mount Washington with the bike.

I wasn't able to borrow any additional lipo from the few possible guys I spoke to, though, in particular, Shawn Lawless was great, and if I'd had a few more weeks to work on it, I think we could have worked something out. So, I'm running what I've got. That is, about 1kwh of RC lipo that I don't trust at all, about 1.5kwh of lead that came from my original build, and about a .7kwh Headway pack that's mounted on my modular rack.

Here's the bike:


That was snapped before I finished the carbon fiber work, but I had some more reinforcing to do. I think it's going to be rock-solid, but that lead is heavy.

The plan is to brutalize the lead, and get as far as I can on it. When that goes flat, I'll switch to the lipo, manually, with the big Anderson connectors. Hopefully that will get me to the top without killing the lipo, but the LVC is set to keep them from getting too low, and I have cell monitors on them now. If they can't do it, then I'll be carrying this pack in my courier bag:


It actually will be a great test of the whole swappable battery idea. I kind of hope that I need to use it. :rolleyes:

I got the packs built this weekend, topping up the charges this week, and going through the punchlist.

Check out the blog, I've done a lot of research on the history of this kind of thing on the mountain, and had some great email exchanges with Prof. Charlie MacArthur as well as Mike Corbin... there's a chance that Charlie may be able to make it!

Wish me luck. The two biggest things I'm worried about are the weather, and the ride down on drum brakes. :O

10 September 2012, 0442
Hummm some EV pron pictures ^_^

11 September 2012, 1629
Ted, good luck! I've been thinking about making the run with my conversion (7.2kwh of T-Sky cells should be no problem) but can't make it this weekend. Keep us posted! The folks at Mt. Washington used to run an alternative transportation day but I don't think it was very popular.

12 September 2012, 0224
Thanks Frank! Yeah, there's a decent chance that Charlie MacArthur, the guy who started the Alternative Energy event back in the 70s may be there. Check out the forecast:

Friday night into the weekend...low to moderate confidence.
Cluster of model guidance has sped up a cold front moving across the
northeast Friday night into Saturday. As the less amplified
solution...appears that the cold front has very little moisture to
work with. Am inclined to go with an entirely dry
forecast...however there is still plenty of time for the models to
change...and perhaps even slow the system up. Therefore insert a
slight chance for Friday night into Sat morning with the west and
northwest zones most likely to see precipitation. High pressure will
quickly usher in on Sat night into Sunday. Because of all the
flip-flopping have a low confidence on this portion of the forecast.

...for those not from New England, that's a pretty much typical forecast for any given day. Translation: They don't have a clue.

Here's the morning's temperature profile - very different from yesterday, where it got down to 28 at the summit.


I'm just waiting for a couple of non-essential parts. You know, two ANDERSON CONNECTORS for the PACKS, NOTHING IMPORTANT (EV Source FAIL). :mad: I'm hoping the forklift truck supplier is a little more professional, and that comes in today. Got one HUGE bolt coming in that will safety the belly tray, and that's coming from McMaster Carr.

12 September 2012, 1150
Hope it all comes together. I just got back from a cross-country trip that saw me climbing mountain passes in Colorado last week which reminded me of Mt. Washington (except they're typically a lot higher!). I'd love to try Mt. Washington on my e-bike sometime.

14 September 2012, 1507
holy last frikkin MINUTE batman... UPS just delivered the Anderson connectors for the two additional packs. I got 'em installed, and checked out. A few minor touchups, and it's off to the White Mountains tomorrow morning!

14 September 2012, 1525
Brakes? Who needs brakes? :D

Good luck Ted!!

14 September 2012, 1825
Go get em Ted, keep the shinny side up and make sure to get some vids if you get the chance.

14 September 2012, 2050
Rock out man!

When you get to 5300 ft, you'll be at the same elevation as Boulder. Look west and give me a wave :)

15 September 2012, 0554
Noah, at that point I'll either be thinking "DAMMIT" or "AWESOME", if I do get to that point! :D Either way, I'll be thinking of you and waving.

All loaded up... the thunderstorms they promised for the morning have all blown through, and I had a chance to use my vinyl printed cover. :D

Between the bike mechanical stuff, the bike electrical stuff, the photo and video gear and my toothbrush and u-trow, I can't believe how much prep it's taking to do a damn 8 mile ride lol!

I good friend connected me with a B&B nearby, so I'll be sleeping in comfort tonight rather than in a tent... As soon as my wife wakes up so's I can kiss her goo-bye, I'm off!

15 September 2012, 0611
Have fun Ted, looking forward to seeing the pictures :cool:

15 September 2012, 1357
Finally got a chance to give everything a final check... after a 4hr drive.


Picked up a bottle of wine, some nice chicken and am chillin by the fire outside my cabin. The weather seems on target- but this is New England, anything could happen!


16 September 2012, 0154
Up early for a weather check... there's this:


...then there's the 70mph winds on the summit. My planned start is mid-morning, I'm not seeing much reason to rush that. :o

16 September 2012, 0211
you're surely the first elmoto boy to wake up for sure on that side of the Atlantic !
I'm with you Ted ! While the rest of the gang is sleeping LOL:cool:
Keep us (me) posted !

16 September 2012, 0239
HA! Thanks, Hugues! Just realized another advantage to my modular batteries... both the lithium packs will be nice and warm in the car before I start the ride, and they also were spared the brief showers yesterday. Of course, that won't last long. :D

16 September 2012, 0344
huh. Isn't it supposed to get warmer when the sun comes up? :o

Despite the expected sunshine though, it will remain windy and cold with temperatures remaining around freezing for most of the day with wind chills well below that...


16 September 2012, 0402
i like their motto on their webpage:


16 September 2012, 0557
Good luck Ted!! I'll be praying for ya!

16 September 2012, 0604
Hopefully the ice will be gone by the time you leave. Have fun!

16 September 2012, 1019


Hi Noah!


While we were waiting for the weather to settle down a bit, we had some long and interesting conversations about breathing some new life into this event. Now I know I can do it (details to come), but next time, I want to see how fast I can do it. :D

16 September 2012, 1024
congrats !
Looks like the weather was nice !

any idea how many ah you consumed ?

16 September 2012, 1035

I can see my house from there :cool:

Congrats man...great accomplishment.

16 September 2012, 1050
congrats !
Looks like the weather was nice !


Nice and frikkin FREEZING lol.

any idea how many ah you consumed ?

...all of them? :D

My controller was set to cut out at 60V, so I only got about 1.5miles out of my lead pack, the one I was counting on for most of the pull. That is running 72V @ 18ah. The RC lipo pack is 74V @ 15ah, and that actually lasted almost 1/2 the distance I think. The Headways literally gave up as I was pulling into the summit lot.

The hot-swap pack thing works AWE. SOME. I had the Headway pack in my courier back, and swapped it out near the summit!

16 September 2012, 1355

16 September 2012, 1451

Nice ride! Yours is one of the three best looking el motos I've ever seen. The other two:



Yes. I am old.

16 September 2012, 1503
Congrats Ted. Excellent achievement.

16 September 2012, 1554
Ted that is awesome. Glad you made it and everything went as planned. Proof positive why Lead is not really viable now.

16 September 2012, 1622
Congratulations Ted - I'm in for another event.

A couple of years ago a friend and I met with a woman named Mary Powers IIRC who coordinates events at Mt. W. She told us that they wanted to try to get the alternative energy thing going again and actually held an event the next year but it was poorly attended.

It'd be fun to see how fast it could be done. Waiting details on your run,...

17 September 2012, 0241
Thanks guys!

The report from the summit was a 50mph NW wind, and 26F. The clouds blowing over the summit as I was making the approach were amazing... you can see them in the video pretty clearly. Warren, as I was turning into the wind, I thought of you, and fairings. :D

I just got the chargers slapped on, and it seems like my limiting the controller to 60V paid off. Nothing is showing too much pain, and they all should charge very nicely.

Tony, yeah, though if it hadn't been for the lead, I would have come up about a mile and a half short. Lesson learned is to take note of the controller settings, and it's touchy mixing chemistries on several fronts. I'm tempted to leave the lead pack on for the upcoming events I'm doing, just to be able to point at the pack and say it has as much energy as that tiny little lipo pack... it's a pretty good talking point, as I found out in the parking lot.

The traditional bikers continue to surprise me with their interest and support, by the way. One of the Harley guys followed me down, concerned about my brakes.

Frank, I have some ideas. Stay tuned, I'm talking to the Mt Washington guys about an event next year, and it could be a lot of fun. ;) I think my time was about 40min, including two battery changes and some delays for letting traffic pass by. My speed was about 20mph, when I was running. I have no doubt that I could do 40mph safely... faster if I know the road is clear. So that's my target for next year.

Oh, by the way. Let no man speak ill of drum brakes in my presence! :D

17 September 2012, 0307
Agree about the talking point of lead to lithium and having them mounted side by side would make it obvious.

17 September 2012, 0405
... you can see them in the video pretty clearly. ....

video ?

did i miss the link somewhere ?

17 September 2012, 0422
I didn't see a link either. There's no doubt that well setup drum brakes can be pretty good although still not as good as discs. I'm pretty proud that while running my old T500 in LSR at Loring this past summer that I got slowed down enough to take "short" shutdown even from almost 120 mph. My conversion is a Sepex and the regen is set pretty strong, I wouldn't even have to use the brakes all the way down the mountain.

17 September 2012, 0902
video ?

did i miss the link somewhere ?

The "yet to come" video... :D Still have to process the over 2gb of files.

17 September 2012, 0938
The "yet to come" video... :D Still have to process the over 2gb of files.

that's about 0.5 mb per foot of vertical climb, not bad. :D
(i like statistics)

17 September 2012, 1145
Congrats Ted!! Great accomplishment.

17 September 2012, 1725
Very nicely done Ted!

19 September 2012, 0855
Got the video up - mostly the whole ride, but with a few bits edited. The size of the GoPro files just crushed my laptop booooooo.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/qANS-utqDY8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

19 September 2012, 0925
:cool: Congratulations Ted - sounds like fun...

19 September 2012, 0944
cool !

i'm surprised to see the type of vegetation (or lack thereof) you find at the top. 6288 feet is about 1'900 m and here in Switzerland to find this kind of rocks and treeless landscape you need to climb to 3'000+ meters. Most be rough weather indeed !

thanks for sharing your adventure with us !

19 September 2012, 1209
Do you know how many kwh you used to make the run? Thanks for posting.

19 September 2012, 1540
Great accomplishment Ted. Many kudos to you. I enjoyed the video and was sweating with you on the final few feet - even with the cold. Is there another book in here somewhere...

21 September 2012, 0147
Do you know how many kwh you used to make the run? Thanks for posting.

My guess is a little over 2kwh. I was going about 20mph most of the time.

21 September 2012, 0521
im just curious, how was the ride down hill???

im with red, i was sitting on the edge of my seat as you got to the top. it still looked like fun...

21 September 2012, 0853
im just curious, how was the ride down hill???

It wasn't a problem. Most of the cars were going down at about the same speed I felt comfortable at - around 20mph - and the rear brake got warm, but never faded. My strategy was to ride the rear until it failed, then hit the front, stop and let them cool. I really never even needed to stop. I honestly think the mass of the drum brakes helps a lot with that, and also I think drums are a hell of a lot better than people nowadays give them credit for. :o I heard many stories about disks failing, warping, etc.

21 September 2012, 1358
It wasn't a problem. Most of the cars were going down at about the same speed I felt comfortable at - around 20mph - and the rear brake got warm, but never faded. My strategy was to ride the rear until it failed, then hit the front, stop and let them cool. I really never even needed to stop. I honestly think the mass of the drum brakes helps a lot with that, and also I think drums are a hell of a lot better than people nowadays give them credit for. :o I heard many stories about disks failing, warping, etc.

My Triumph has warped 3 front discs over the past 24K miles and I had to replace my BMW F650GS front disc last month due to warping, also. My brakes never get hot, so I don't know what is going on. Either inferior material or something wrong with the design or assembly.

22 September 2012, 0522
...put on my sticker!


Tomorrow I'm going to the Plug In America Day on Boston Common, it'll be interesting to hear the comments!

22 September 2012, 0727
What's up with the Amsoil sticker? :confused: Do you use Amsoil in your transmission? :O

22 September 2012, 0809
What's up with the Amsoil sticker? :confused: Do you use Amsoil in your transmission? :O

Forks, chain, general light lubes and waterless cleaner, mister weisenheimer. :p Amsoil's been a very supportive sponsor.

The Mt Washington guys just posted some shots. My fave:

(caption: Does This Tiny Bike Make My Butt Look Big?)

Their Facebook gallery is here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151043876295718.426440.76723350717&type=1&l=c8dee40963